Bio-inspired materials for biosensing and tissue engineering
Stevens MM., Mecklenburg G.
This review gives an overview of the research presented in the lecture by Professor Molly Stevens given on the occasion of the 2010 Polymer International-IUPAC award for creativity in polymer science. Herein we describe some highlights of our biomaterials-based approaches in the fields of regenerative medicine and biosensing. We have developed a range of polymeric and inorganic materials for use in tissue engineering scaffolds as well as for elucidating the impact of various materials-based cues on cell behaviour and tissue formation. Specific examples in the field of bone repair are outlined. Furthermore, recent achievements in the creation of sensitive, simple and robust assays for enzyme detection are presented. Our approaches in this field are based on the combination of various nanoparticles with designer polypeptides to provide quantitative colorimetric read-outs where a specific active enzyme is present. These enzyme assays are likely to be useful for portable point-of-care diagnoses of a range of diseases with significant global impact. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.